NCP Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal (right, front row) during a program in Jhapa on Saturday. Photo: Republica
DAMAK, Jhapa, Sept 15: Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, addressing a gathering in the home district of Prime Minister KP Oli, who is also a co-chair of the party, has sought party members’ support to lead the newly-unified party single-handedly in the coming days.
Dahal compared himself with late Madan Bhandari, who is quite popular among the rank and file of the former UML party, and urged the party members to trust him for the leadership.
He argued that he was leading another Communist party as its general secretary during the time when Bhandari was leading the then CPN-UML as its general secretary.
“We were general secretaries of two different Communist parties at the same time. Though I didn’t have his stature, we had similar position at that time. So, I urge you all to analyze my role and activities since then,” said Dahal.
He also argued that he was the one who backed all the three UML prime ministers – KP Oli, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal – during different times.
“I am the one who proposed to make Jhalanath Khanal prime minister. I proposed KP Oli’s candidacy for prime ministerial post after promulgation of new constitution in 2015,” said Dahal.
He also argued that he was the one who took initiative to make Madhav Kumar Nepal a member of the Constituent Assembly even after he lost CA elections from two constituencies and that paved the way for him to become prime minister afterward.
“You can’t find a leader, who can work like me,” said Dahal. He termed the government’s performance satisfactory as of now.
Dahal’s appeal to party members in Prime Minister Oli’s home district has come at a time when speculations are rife that Oli is likely to hand over the party’s executive power to Dahal in view of the prime minister’s health issues and his engagement in the government.
The two leaders have been leading the NCP ever since it was formed after merging the two Communist parties—CPN-UML led by Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) led by Dahal, nearly two years ago.
Maoist leaders often raise the issue of sharing the powers between the two leaders. The former Maoist side has reportedly been pressing Oli to allow Dahal to head the party single-handedly as Oli runs the government.
Dahal has been trying to establish himself as a consensus leader within the party as the former UML cadres and former Maoists are still apprehensive toward accepting leadership of the other side.